Within a year of its implementation, close to 80 individuals were penalised, almost half the number having to serve a prison term. Series of online discussions ensued, some mainstream media, especially print, took a radical stand on the issue and had some groups submitting petitions to the government.Government returned with a proposal to amend about nine sections of the Act. The end result was a liberalised bill, with increased permissible import amount of tobacco and its products, and much more relaxed penalties.It was understood the new Act would not be applicable to those, who were already charged under the old one, but would stand to benefit those, whose cases were still under trial or pending.Coming to the rescue, however, was His Majesty granting royal pardon to 16 people, who were convicted under the previous Act.It was a big lesson learnt. For the lawmakers to consider a world of views before endorsing such laws, for implementing agencies to create enough awareness, and the public to learn and stay abreast of the laws affecting them.
Sonam, 15 other tobacco criminals released
It's about fucking time.